Let parents teach values
Herald-Sun, 16 November 2016
ENCOURAGING preschool children as young as three to develop an awareness of skin colour and to recognise racial prejudice is another social education program that intrudes on the role of parents.
The Safe Schools program has caused heated debate and has been driven by activists promoting “sexual fluidity” that can cause doubt in children about their gender.
Respectful Relationships being taught in schools is another program that blurs the role of parents. At least showing respect for each other has a positive message.
But this latest intrusion in children’s development is social engineering and is concerning many parents. Encouraging an awareness of skin colour may have the opposite effect to what is intended by the Australian Human Rights Commission program developed under its president, Gillian Triggs.
Building Belonging materials include an e-book, All My Friends and Me, which has Chinese, African, Persian and Aboriginal characters.
But for many young children colour is never a question. They are blind to colour and form their relationships free of prejudice.
Telling them they are different has its own racial undertones.
The Human Rights Commission and its increasing intrusion into all walks of Australian life has come under increasing criticism from the Coalition. Professor Triggs has become a political figure, accused of holding back her report on children in detention until after the 2013 election, following discussions with Labor figures about its timing.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently attacked Prof Trigg over the case brought against three Queensland University of Technology students by an Aboriginal woman who has since dropped the case. The students were accused of racial hatred under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in a complaint to the Human Rights Commission that was rejected when it went before the Federal Circuit Court. Former QUT staff member Cindy Prior, who brought the action, claimed $250,000 in damages but must now pay costs.
Another Aboriginal woman, Melissa Dennison, made a similar complaint to the Human Rights Commission under Section 18C over a cartoon by Bill Leak in TheAustralian newspaper.
The cartoon depicted a police officer returning a child to an apparently drunk Aboriginal father who didn’t know the child’s name. This complaint has also been dropped.
Mr Turnbull has criticised what he said was the commission’s involvement in the controversial race hatred complaint against the Queensland students and has supported a parliamentary inquiry into the Racial Discrimination Act.
The majority of Coalition MPs are calling for the words “insult” and “offend’’ to be removed from Section 18C, arguing they impede free speech. In her defence, Prof Triggs also believes the provisions of the Act need to be strengthened.
This is also the position of the Herald Sun, which shares parents’ concern over the Australian Human Rights Commission Building Belonging program emphasising skin colour among preschool and primary school children. Free speech underpins Australian culture just as parents should be left to guide their children’s growth.